The only thing possibly better than riding on a custom bike made to your measures and specific needs is building it yourself. Unfortunately there are not many places where you can do that.
So when friends asked me if they could come by and if I could teach them how to build their own steel bicycle frame I thought, sure, why not. It was a welcome change for me, working mostly on my own, and it enabled me to share the passion. After the positive experiences working with friends I wanted to allow more people to access this program and luckily it had a little mention in the magasin “200 - le vélo de route autrement” which helped to spread the word.
This year 15 clients came to Roubaix to leave with a bicycle frame set that they have created with their own hands. The results are quite stunning. I have added a few examples at the end of the article.
Working with my clients over the past year enabled me to calibrate the process, verify what is possible to build in a beginners’ course. A course that shouldn’t take longer than 5 days (to not make the boss at work or at home unhappy). This means the planning and discussion of the frame design happens before the program starts (usually 5 to 6 weeks ahead of time) so in the course we can focus on the activities that are at the heart of frame building - mitering tubes and brazing them. The majority of the participants so far have never touched a brazing torch before the course. But there is still enough time for a few practice pieces before starting to work on the real thing.
I’ve decided to limit the number of participants to a maximum of 2 per course. This allows me to dedicate the amount of attention everyone deserves and to supervise and guide the brazing process.
The feedback I have received so far was very positive and encouraging. I’m now dedicating a section on my website to provide you with all the details of the course. Before the 2018/19 season starting in September there is still one available slot during the week of July 2, 2018, a particularly interesting week as the Tour de France arrives in Roubaix on July 8 - don’t miss your chance for a memorable week in the North!